For the first time in a fair few weeks we do… nothing. Absolutely nothing! (Well, parents-of-small-children style nothing). We take turns to nap. We do odd jobs. We play a game called Splat! where everyone is covered in spray cream and no matter how many times you play it’s still really funny. We go for a walk. We nap again.
In the evening we do a charity quiz online. I allow the Eldest to join in because I have no idea that the quiz will be self-marked, photo-evidenced, host-verified, death-matched and still protested for foul play until gone ten o’clock… turns out a basket of chocolate carries very high stakes these days indeed! (Hashtag ‘Lou woz robbed!’)
As is the new norm, I start to think about the online service an hour before it starts and get my most relevant ideas ten minutes before, if not during, the live broadcast. It goes really well and Husband is apparently delighted with today’s improvisation- but the run up is starting to stress him out. And he’s right. For a woman who has been planning a Gallery Wall two whole months before moving house, the lack of forthought is somewhat disappointing. We agree to a formal fortnightly planning meeting from now on!
In the evening, we take a new approach to the Eldest’s bedtime debacle. She is refusing sleep every night, holding out for the off-chance that we might engage with her and offer “Mummy Daddy time.” I understand that one should never negotiate with terrorists, but as things are getting out of hand, (and I recognise a need in her, obviously), we make a week of bargains. She may stay up late for designated quality time on Monday and Wednesday, but only if she goes to bed and doesn’t bother us on Sunday and Tuesday- and so on.
Tonight, it works! She is asleep by 8pm, we continue our Marvel marathon in peace and I go into the week knowing exactly which evenings I need to ‘sacrifice.’ It might not be ideal, but it’s good for now.
Oooh there is much excitement this morning as the caterpillars have started hanging around… what fascinating creatures!
And then we actually have a really lovely, productive day of homeschool. After last week’s blog post I got a few helpful messages with links and ideas – thank you kindly!- which serve to motivate us for another week.
Today’s best tip-off discovery is Cosmic Kids Yoga, which sounds dodgy- (the Eldest actually asked, “it’s not naked is it?!”- for which I blame Gangsta Granny!) – but is actually just stretching with stories. We do The Hungry Caterpillar today and all three children are engaged throughout. Amazing! It’s like P.E. with Joe, 14 weeks ago….
In the evening, as planned, the Eldest stays up and we watch the National Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (see, that awful Romeo and Juliet episode paid off in the end! She loves it!) It is very funny and includes alot of great music and dancing. We actually have a lovely evening ‘at the theatre’, culminating in a mini disco, just the three of us. Being held up by a parent on each side, the Eldest is positively beaming. She goes to bed happy and continues to be happy for the rest of the week…
It’s amazing what a little bit of quality time can do!
Today, we have been invited to an online interactive Science lesson by a friend. It’s called Mini Professors, it’s on Zoom, we’re going to make a brain and the excitement is high!
As we are now up to “humans” in our creation-slash-science theme, I decide to make the whole day about bodies. We watch Maddie and Greg make a poo on Let’s Go Live – (note: the ‘Best Of” videos they’re now releasing are way more accessible for younger children than the original episodes.) We then play some sensory games and stick some organs and veins onto our creepy display….
It’s coming along quite nicely! Themed days are definitely the best bet for engagement around here.
I am tired today. I’ve been struggling to sleep at night recently. My brain is too busy; I’m planning and creating and decorating in my head almost constantly and the silent space of the early hours is far too alluring. Last night I banished every screen and sat up to pray and talk to friends instead but it’s no use. I still can’t switch off.
The day is fine though. The best tip-off discovery this morning is Mr MC Phonics! Engaging lessons with retro music- a brilliant combination.
Today is the 1st of July and I am slightly thrown by the premature arrival of an absolute stack of packing boxes and a deep-cleaning machine that was meant to arrive next week! I am desperate to start the process, but it’s just too soon!
Thankfully, the sun comes out in the afternoon and we play.
By the evening though I’m absolutely shattered. However, the Eldest is on a promise. So, we watch Mr Stink as planned and then I take her up to bed with me at 9pm. I think she’s still talking when I fall asleep….
Today, we play the ‘Brain game’ and I think it’s rather genius. A basic ‘Simon Says’ concept, the brain tells them to do things… like touch their toes… or Maths… and exercise… and phonics. Some days these kids will fall for anything!
Next, we complete our body displays with a little Funny Bones jumble…
And the creepiest stairs in lockdown belong to… us!
And then… (drumroll!)… and then… for the first time in fifteen weeks we all get in the car as a family and… we see people! We have no grandparents nearby and so there has been no temptation to see anyone up until this point. However… With the house move looming and the rules easing, we have officially decided to “bubble” with another family- and the kids are beside themselves with excitement.
“I can see the mirror now Mummy! Look I’VE GROWN!”
“It’s like a rollercoaster – weeee!”
“Are we there yet?!”
As we draw closer the kids are buzzing … and so am I. With good reason. The H’s house is still a sanctuary… and it’s SO SO good to be home from home!
Of course, leaving is another matter and The Boy has a sizeable meltdown which resumes after he wakes up at home. It’s just so much for their little hearts and minds to take in! But we make a plan to go back in two weeks time and I think he is appeased… for now.
Today is the last of Bodies day – and the end of an 8 week exploration of Creation! (Iron Man in that Superhero Training Bible Study we started waaay back at the beginning of Lockdown!). So, we talk about the intrinsic value of all human life today- the pinnacle of Creation; including our inherent responsibility to look after the world, each other and ourselves.
So… It’s soul care day! We put on some worship music, do some colouring, some creating and- if you weren’t convinced that we’re full blown hippies already– the kids beg to get the massage table out and so we do a bit of that too!
Which brings up to now. The Youngest is asleep on me and I’m attempting to show the Eldest that I write because I love it and it’s good for me! Which it is. We’re biding our time until 4pm when Husband will finish work and the popcorn and duvets will come out for a much, much anticipated premier of Frozen 2 on Disney Plus! (So glad we missed it at the cinema now! What a treat!)
So I think that’s all for now. It’s a month today until the move; 2 weeks of home school, 2 weeks packing, cleaning and shopping, with a much-sought after sleepover for the kids at the end of it…
We’re on the home straight now.
Yesss! Praise God.
Love to all! Thanks for reading!